Site Specific Sculpture (oak trees, documents, maps, GPS record)

2013 - present

The mystery and enchantment of the forest is deeply embedded in our culture, from ancient folklore to modern literature. Forests are places of magic and fear, shadows and shelters, exploration and adventure, getting lost and being found.  Almost all of us have had a tree in our past that has shaped us - we played, we climbed, we fell, we sheltered, we gathered, perhaps we kissed.  Each tree provides a meter, a measure of a life lived, and a tangible, annual cycle of life, death and rebirth that profoundly shapes our concept of time.

The oak is the most iconic of Britain’s native trees - a symbol of longevity, strength and dignity. In the UK, the oak plays a unique role in forest ecosystems with a single oak able to support more than 1000 other species. Oaks once formed a third of all tree cover in Britain. Today, this is far from the case. The European average of woodland to landmass is 37%. In the UK it is just 11.8%. In our past we have torn up our forests to wage wars and fuel industry at an alarming rate and we have been remiss at replenishing our stock.

akin is a long-term, participatory artwork which symbolically creates a dispersed oak woodland in Scotland and conceptually links this to notions of nurture, community and sustainability. akin is an old Scots word meaning, 'consisting of oaks'. In this work hundreds of oak trees, grown from acorns originally gathered in Fife, are to be re-planted across Fife. Individuals, families and businesses of the region are to be engaged in the planting and care of the trees in the gardens, parks, common lands and green spaces of the Kingdom, participating in a physical and symbolic cycle of growth, nurture, return, participation and sustainability.